Monday, July 5, 2010
4th of July!
I woke up at 5:30am, jumped in a cab, and made it to Ansan by 7am. What was I doing up so early on the 4th of July? I registered for a half-marathon that had free registration for foreigners! I have wanted to do one since I got here, so this was the perfect chance. I decided to keep the tradition by doing a run on the 4th like I usually do in Hancock back home. This year I just upped the miles by ten! I was most definitely the first white face in the stadium where the race started. By 7:45am, there were more foreign faces from the Seoul Flyers group, which I signed up through. It seemed cool enough when the race started with a few sprinkles, but quickly turned into some pretty intense heat with the humidity. I felt great until I hit about mile 10 when the heat really started to affect me. I had done two half-marathons before, one in the fall and one in the spring. I had never run in this kind of heat as I had been doing late night runs here when it was plenty cool. The run was a complete blast, but painfully hot! I was really disappointed when my legs decided they just wouldn't run anymore. I was so close to the finish when I ended up doing a walk/run for about the last mile and half. Needless to say, it was the worst time of my three runs, but worth it none-the-less to say I have run a half-marathon in another country.
One highlight is as I came running into the stadium near the finish, a Korean woman crossed right over the race path. I tried to warn her with a shout, but I ended up plowing into her at full speed....oooops! Serves you right for walking through the race route lady. I sort of felt like that was all the pushes I've gotten from Koreans over the year all put into one back at her...hehe! Anyway, the most special part was that I came running into the stadium through the finish line all by myself. Shauna was right there watching her first half-marathon, capturing pictures of me while cheering me through the finish! It was so awesome to see her face as the race ended. I didn't think I would care if anyone came as I was just doing it for fun, but it was more than awesome to have her there with me! She took a two hour trek on the subway to stand waiting with her eyes glued to the finish line for over an hour waiting for me. Thanks Shauna! I was absolutely soaked in sweat by the end and have never drank so much water so fast in my life. In fast, I was so thirsty that I immediately chugged the rice wine the Koreans were excitedly handing me at the end of the race. They drink that at the end of any intensive physical activity. Not the greatest thirst quencher, I'll tell you that! Anyway, the race started at 9am, too late in the morning if you ask me, and we were on our way back to Suji by 12pm. I showered and we headed into Seoul by 2pm. Sadly, we had to take care of some business at the electronics market from the day before, but we both ended up with nice new cameras for our big Vietnam trip coming up in just three weeks. We ended our day of USA celebration, at I hate to say, our favorite CANADIAN bar with our favorite plate of nachos! Guilt free after my long run, I topped those off with Cold Stone. We headed back shortly after and I went to bed earlier than I can remember since I was in elementary school. I was in bed 9:50pm...you read that right mom! I have to admit it was nice to be around home (Suji) this weekend for the first time in over a month. With nothing planned over the next two weekends, my next stop is VIETNAM! I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July!